© Andy Roberts 1997. Pictured comet is C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp.

15P/Finlay reaches its brightest

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Comet 15P/Finlay is forecast to reach its brightest. It will lie at a distance of 0.99 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 1.37 AU from the Earth.

From Cambridge, it will become visible around 17:28 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 22° above your south-western horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 48 minutes after the Sun at 20:02.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

Based on the absolute magnitude published for this comet by the British Astronomical Association's Comet Section, we estimate that it may reach a peak brightness of around mag 9.

This comet is not expected to be visible to the naked eye, but might be visible through bird-watching binoculars. The brightnesses of comets are often highly unpredictable, since it is impossible to predict with certainty how they will respond as they are heated by the Sun as they move into the inner solar system. Magnitude estimates should be assumed to be highly provisional more than a few weeks in advance.

The path of the comet, on the other hand, can reliably be predicted. The chart below shows the path of 15P/Finlay over the course of its apparition. It was produced using StarCharter and is available for download, either on dark background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats, or on a light background, in PNG, PDF or SVG formats.

Alternatively, you can create a textual listing of the comet's position using In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris generator.

The position of comet 15P/Finlay at its brightest will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude
Comet 15P/Finlay 21h32m50s -15°13' Capricornus 8.7

The coordinates are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 December 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:06 12:30 16:54
Venus 08:19 12:50 17:22
Moon 10:20 16:04 21:48
Mars 09:43 14:41 19:40
Jupiter 19:59 03:03 10:03
Saturn 04:24 09:17 14:11
All times shown in EST.


This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) , and is updated whenever new elements become available. It was last updated on 20 Aug 2019.

Image credit

© Andy Roberts 1997. Pictured comet is C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp.




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